Monday, February 01, 2010

Things That Make You go "HUH?"

"I like an escalator, because an escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. You'll never see an 'Escalator Out of Order' sign, only 'Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.'" -- Mitch Hedberg

Apparently, Mitch never met MARTA

As reported on local news... much to mine and many MARTA riders chagrin Friday morning, MARTA elected to shutdown 100 of approx 140 Escalators in its train stations last Thursday night around 8pm.

They did it for safety reasons. The transit system discovered that a service contractor's employee had bypassed a safety switch on an escalator that stops the escalator from moving if it encountered resistance (like someone's shoe caught in it or such. They determined all of the escalators in their system that the particular technician had either inspected or repaired and shut them off. I have absolutely no problem with that move and salute them for it.

My question is this, however. After shutting off the power that operates the escalator, was it necessary to then block access to them preventing people from using them as stairs? In some stations, it has caused people to have to walk another 50 feet or more to an open staircase. And, they will remain closed until they have been inspected by a technician from another firm. With 100 escalators in question, one can only imagine this will take a while. As of this evening, all of the escalators in the stations I use are still closed (one of which is in fact the picture above).

When in Washington riding the Metro, they had several escalators shutdown but open to utilize as a staircase unless technicians were actually performing maintenance on the escalator in question. And, I have even been in shopping malls (I know, "gasp") where an escalator was shut off but yet open to be used as stairs.

I wish Mitch Hedburg was still alive. He was a very funny comedian, and I am sure he would have got a kick out of this one.


mq01 said...

wow... go figure...

redlegsrides said...


in this litigious-prone society of ours, methinks this company is just doing what their own lawyer scum told them to do to protect themselves...

sad state of affairs but it's what we've got.

Canajun said...

Charlie's probably right, but I prefer to think it's because they were getting too many complaints of people being stuck on the escalators for hours.
Still pretty stupid no matter how you look at it.

Learning to Golf said...

Sad commentary on our society that Charlie6 was dead on about.

irondad said...

Man, don't you guys see the obvious reason they're blocked off? When they're not moving nobody knows for sure which one is "up" and which is "down"!

People might get confused and run into each other. Duh!

Willy D said...

This is starting to sound like a ‘dumb blond’ joke.

WooleyBugger said...

It may be because of OSHA regulation "Lock out, Tag Out" system. At one place I worked that I won't mention,(City), there was a system in place for safety reasons. Some equipment, like an esculator I'm sure dose, has a breaker box with a lever to cut main power, then a flat type padlock tag with 2 to 8 holes in the lower portion are there for additional padlocks.
Somebody finds a problem throws the switch puts on the tag then puts their padlock on. Everyone who works on, inpects, cleans the equipment in question has to put their lock on as well and they are removed as tasks are completed. Only the person who puts their own lock on can take it off keeping malfunctioning equipment from being started up.
So if Marta has this system then it makes your picture a real Hmmm thought.

Word Verifi: "itchies"

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Madding:

I wouldn't have given this scenario a second thought five years ago. But today, having to walk an additional 50 feet could pose a problem for me — especially at the end of the day — when the effects of the Celebrex has worn off and my knees are the stiffest.

I think MARTA did the right thing too. Just imagine the horror of reading that someone's kid got sucked into the grears of something like this, especially if it could have been prevented.

Lewis Grizzard was from Atlanta as I recall. He was one of the funniest men I have ever met.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep • Toad
Twisted Roads
(New Blog Posts Every Monday and Thursday)

Allen Madding said...

Jack that has been my concern is the amount of people who rely on MARTA that do not get around well. Getting all of the escalators inspected will be a time consuming task.

Yes, Lewis Grizzard was from Atlanta. He wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for years and many books. A great comedian/entertainer and a great southerner :)


Anonymous said...

You and your blog have won the Honest Scrap Award;

Please pay it forward.

Ride on,

Allen Madding said...

For the curious...still not completed: